Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prayer for Integrity

May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.
Psalm 25:21

I find it interesting that I have been brought to this verse on this historic election day. It is simply day 4 on a card called, "31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for your Kids" that I decided to pray through over the course of this month. I do not claim to have any kind of political insight that none of the rest of you could find, but here are my two cents.

I know a lot of people, some of you my friends included, are up in arms because they think the candidate they are not voting for would try to implement policies that are destructive to this nation. This is a time of economic uncertainty for sure, as well as what seems to me a faltering presence on the world stage. And it may even be true that this country is losing its moral compass.

But as I study scripture, which is the one sure thing I can always count on, I read the story of a great king, Nebuchadnezzar. At the time of his rule, Babylon encompassed nearly the entire known world. He was not a godly man, nor were his policies always humanitarian. But he was placed in that position of power by the Great Orchestrator of History, God Himself, for God's purposes and so that God could be shown powerful at the right time.

You can read the story in Daniel 4 about how God took away Nebuchadnezzar's sanity for a season, until he acknowledged that God was a higher authority than he. But certainly from the beginning he never would have declared that his leadership skill and power came because he was striving to follow God with integrity.

As I remember history I see the story of another great leader, Alexander the Great. In his short lifetime, Alexander grew the Roman Empire until it encompassed nearly the entire known world. He was not a godly man, nor were his policies always humanitarian. But he also was placed in that position for God's purposes.

You see, Alexander implemented education so a far greater number of ordinary people could learn to read and write in a common language. Then he began to build roads that encompassed the entire empire. And because of those two imperatives, the scriptures themselves became translated into a common language, and messengers were able to carry their message to the far corners of the known world.

God's purposes are higher than ours, and He stands behind all the events of history, orchestrating it to fulfill his own purposes. At the end of the day today, we will have elected a new president. But at the end of the day, the same orchestrator will still be in charge of human history. Nothing can happen without him allowing it.

I do pray that the man we elect will put his hope in God, that God will protect him because he strives to lead with integrity and uprightness. I will continue to pray that for our next president, whoever he may be. I think each candidate believes he can make a difference by doing the job of president to the best of his ability. But even if he does not, he will still be the man God has put into office, for his divine purpose.

I do not find either candidate to be the villain his opponents are trying to make him out to be; nor do I expect that either will be the white knight riding in to save America from its troubles. What I do know is that I will still sleep well tonight, regardless of the outcome. I pray for integrity and honesty of spirit for myself and my kids, and I pray our nation's leader may have that as well. But my hope is in God, who was around long before us, and who will still be here when this great nation has faded into history.


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